Last but not least, we have the Orbea Oiz. With the most travel in our entire test group, I would have assumed the Orbea Oiz would have felt the most “trail.” While the fit is more on the trail side of the spectrum, the suspension characteristics feel very XC. It’s a nice combo for making a bike go fast both up and down the mountain. Stick around to see just how fast this thing really is.
Orbea Oiz Geometry and Details
With 120mm of front and rear travel, the Oiz leads the pack in terms of suspension quantity. Even with the most travel, the Oiz is the lightest bike in our test, coming in at 24lb. Sure this is a custom build, decked out in some pretty blingy gear, but an XL full-suspension MTB coming in at 24lb is still pretty impressive. It certainly plays a part in how fast the Oiz feels out on the trail and, most importantly, how impressed your friends are when they lift it out of your truck.
The Oiz’s geometry falls closer to the trail side of the spectrum. It’s not as relaxed as the Cervelo ZFS-5, but it’s not nearly as racy as the Giant Anthem. With a 67° head tube angle, it’s the second slackest bike in our test. Although, the Blur is only 0.1° steeper. The reach ends up on the longer side, but with the shortest chainstay length in the group, the overall wheelbase is fairly moderate.
The cockpit on the Oiz isn’t as clean as some of the other bikes, largely because of the remote lockout lever. In fact, it is the only bike in our test to use one. I struggled to get used to the lockout position and where it forced the dropper lever to be positioned on the bars. The lockout sits where a dropper lever normally would, so I ended up hitting the lockout almost every time I tried to drop my saddle. My monkey brain couldn’t adapt to the change. Yours might fair better. I would also argue that the Oiz is so efficient it doesn’t need a remote lockout. I certainly never once thought, “Man, I wish this bike would pedal better.”
Orbea Oiz Review
Speaking of how well the Oiz pedals, let’s get into its climbing performance. I’m spilling the beans right out of the gate, but the Oiz is the fastest climber in our test. Its suspension easily provides the best pedal platform out of all our bikes. It feels so quick and snappy when you get on the pedals. As I said earlier, it certainly doesn’t need the remote lockout, in my opinion. But keep in mind, I’m not an XC racer. I’d almost always prefer the traction and control that comes from running my suspension open over the minor efficiency gain. More efficiency doesn’t do you too much good if your back wheel isn’t gripping the ground. Either way, the Oiz is incredibly efficient and quick on the pedals. A bit more rear-wheel traction could be nice and would help on technical and slippery climbs, but the Oiz’s performance here isn’t bad — I’m just being nit-picky.
For having more travel than any other bike in our test, it didn’t feel that way on the climbs. It felt the most XC with the least amount of comfort and forgiveness through the bumps. Over the course of a long ride, you’ll start to feel that a bit.
The Oiz’s body position and geometry are some of the best in the group. It doesn’t feel overly racy, but it didn’t feel too casual, either. It strikes a nice balance for a bike that’s designed to get you to the top of the mountain as fast as possible. It makes the uphill handling feel sharp, making navigating rocky sections and tight corners easier. Yet, it’s not so stretched out that your neck and back are killing you after 10 minutes. Basically, the point I’m trying to make here is that Orbea got this one very right.
Overall, the Oiz takes the top spot for climbing performance in our test. Between the ultra-snappy pedal feel and the all-but-perfect geometry, it makes its way to the top of the hill faster and easier than the rest. Even more surprising when you consider this bike has more travel than any other bike in our test.
Again, the Oiz certainly doesn’t feel like it has the most travel in our test. This becomes more apparent on the descents. It’s on the firm, snappy and supportive side of the spectrum, which has its pros and cons.
Starting with the pros, the oiz is very fast on the downhills. It carries speed well, regains speed quickly out of corners, and it feels fairly stable at speed due to its geometry. Everything about the firm and supportive suspension seems to be designed to generate speed on the trail. On one of my test DH trails, there’s generally a fair amount of pedaling on other bikes just to maintain speed. While on the Oiz, I found myself pedaling much less. I was able to keep my speed up more easily. In fact, you don’t realize how fast you’re going until it’s time to slow down for a corner. It’s at that point the cons start to show up. There’s less braking traction than I’d prefer on the Oiz. It could partially come down to the tires, but I think a lot of that is in the suspension. Keep in mind that the tires on my test Oiz were some of the more aggressive in center tread size. It could also come down to the bike just going faster than you’re used to. Either way, the bike is fast everywhere, sometimes when you don’t want it to be.
Cornering traction, however, is superb. The Oiz feels very comfortable in the corners, both the bermed ones and the flat ones. I had no qualms about pushing the bike into a corner or leaning it over on a loose corner and trusting it to hook up. I think this boils down to its geometry. The Oiz is on the longer side with a riding position that comfortably puts you between the wheels. It makes it easy to get weight through both of the wheels. The head tube angle isn’t so steep that the bike feels twitchy, either. It’s forgiving and confident enough that you don’t have to tip-toe around the rough bits.
Overall the Oiz is one of the fastest descending bikes in our test. Its suspension finds all sorts of free speed out on the trail. Just start braking a little earlier than normal, and you’ll be setting PRs left and right.
Who is the Orbea Oiz for?
I think the Oiz is for the rider who wants that sports car-feeling bike. They want something that pedals very well and feels fast no matter where they’re riding. It would be a great bike for the XC racer, even considering it has trail bike amounts of travel. It’s very competitive in terms of weight and one of the most competitive in terms of speed — both of which are important for XC racing. It’s also a great option for the non-racer, as the extra travel can help make up for a couple of mistakes.
XC Showdown Awards
That’s going to wrap it up for the individual reviews. Stay tuned for the showdown summary, where we pit all these bikes against each other.